"This is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me," Darcie said, leaning back to throw another knife.
"Really? Surely at some point, some guy must have made some big romantic gesture towards you or other. Roses, at least."
"Oh, sure," Darcie said, walking towards the sheet of plywood in her back yard we were tossing throwing knives into, pulling the knives out one at a time. The summer sun beat down on her head of long red hair, bringing out even more blazing shades than usual. "Lots of roses. They all bought me roses. My boyfriend in high school bought me three dozen after our first date."
"I'm impressed." I answered. And then I realized that I had never, in fact, bought her roses.
"So was my Mom," Darcie replied as she handed me three of the six knives. "I wasn't. I hated them."
"You hate roses?"
"I just don't like flowers that much. For the money he spent on them, he could have gotten me something more practical. Like beer or something."
Darcie and I had met at work, and although there was an initial attraction, no one had acted on it. She was quiet, for the most part, sitting in the back of the office and doing her job without fanfare. She had been there for months without much interaction between the two of us.
One day... almost purely on a whim... I walked past her desk and said "You should let me take you out for drinks some time."
Her face lit up. She answered with "I thought you'd never ask!"
I somehow got the impression that (despite her being perfectly charming and attractive) she was pleased that someone was genuinely paying attention to her.
"So, how is this the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?"
"You saw I liked the knives. You bought them for me. You cared. You paid attention."
Three weeks later the relationship more or less fell apart. We liked each other, but ultimately we both knew that it wasn't going to be the great romance we both sought in one way or another.
Three years later, long after we had moved on to other jobs and other relationships, I ran into her at the mall and asked how she was doing. It turns out that she had just broken up with her current boyfriend, a result of a drunken argument.
It wasn't a typical drunk domestic scene, as it turns out. They had been drinking in the back yard together, patching things up after a minor squabble. throwing those same knives I had bought her, and the boyfriend (too distracted by his own issues) had stumbled into range. The knife landed in his shoulder. He apparently contended that Darcie had "a lot of emotional issues." Darcie, in turn, pointed out that he should have known better than to stray within range of an annoyed redhead armed with throwing knives. Because of his own internal drama, he simply wasn't paying attention.
Personally, I suspect Darcie had a point there.
So, in a world of complex people with complex emotions, maybe the Capricorn love lesson is the simplest of all: be in the moment, and pay attention.
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